2017 W2T Anniversary Cake, 5 years storage comparison
Dry leaf is dark brown with silver-gold tips vs lighter brown with silvery tips. Both smell like young sheng but the heated tea is more aromatic.
Steep 1 is very slightly darker on the left. Both yellow-orange. There is a bit of a green/roasty background to the aroma of the tea, significantly stronger on the right.
Bitter and acrid on the right. The heated tea is thicker in mouthfeel and much less green. But still bitter. Quite tippy, both teas have a bit of a darjeeling style profile. Heated tea is significantly sweeter.
Very strong tea, eye clarity, bracing, bitter.
The unheated tea is aggressive, bitter, sharp, brassy. The heated tea has lost the green roasty edge and is a bit sweeter.
Test steep shows clear colour difference. Unheated tea shows a strong bitterness and some juicy acidity. Menghai profile. Reminds me of a strong 7542. The heated tea has a small amount of yeastiness, much more sweetness, and much less green profile. Both are quite stiff and aggressive.
Long test steep does give astringency but not super intense – it’s a medium chewy astringency. Interesting that the astringency is medium but the bitterness and overall punch is high. Not ultra bitter, not Kucha like bitterness, just full complex bitter menghai profile.
Despite the bitter (and for the unheated, acrid) profile, the energy is quite stable, calming, heavy, with a strong but not jittery alertness.
The heated tea is somewhat sweeter, definitely less green, less acrid, but still quite far from comfortable. The unheated tea is not really drinkable at the normal ratio, it’s a rough experience. Both storage versions are nowhere near enjoyable yet, IMO. If I ignore the taste and attack, the energy is quite pleasant, I would say that the sweet resinous empty cup aroma on the heated tea and the focusing heavy energy are (the only) things I enjoy in this tea at the moment. Difficult to rate, since this is really only for aging and my rating is based primarily on the energy. 4.2 for drinking now, 6.5 as a future hope…